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In the House of the Hangman: The Agonies of German Defeat, 1943-1949by Jeffrey K. Olick
Synopses & Reviews
The central question for both the victors and the vanquished of World War II was just how widely the stain of guilt would spread over Germany. Political leaders and intellectuals on both sides of the conflict debated whether support for National Socialism tainted Germanyand#8217;s entire population and thus discredited the nationand#8217;s history and culture. The tremendous challenge that Allied officials and German thinkers faced as the war closed, then, was how to limn a postwar German identity that accounted for National Socialism without irrevocably damning the idea and character of Germany as a whole. and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; In the House of the Hangman chronicles this delicate process, exploring key debates about the Nazi past and German future during the latter years of World War II and in its aftermath. What did British and American leaders think had given rise to National Socialism, and how did these beliefs shape their intentions for occupation? What rhetorical and symbolic tools did Germans develop for handling the insidious legacies of Nazism? Considering these and other questions, Jeffrey K. Olick explores the processes of accommodation and rejection that Allied plans for a new German state inspired among the German intelligentsia. He also examines heated struggles over the value of Germanyand#8217;s institutional and political heritage. Along the way, he demonstrates how the moral and political vocabulary for coming to terms with National Socialism in Germany has been of enduring significanceand#8212;as a crucible not only of German identity but also of contemporary thinking about memory and social justice more generally. and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Given the current war in Iraq, the issues contested during Germanyand#8217;s abjection and reinventionand#8212;how to treat a defeated enemy, how to place episodes within wider historical trajectories, how to distinguish varieties of victimhoodand#8212;are as urgent today as they were sixty years ago, and In the House of the Hangman offers readers an invaluable historical perspective on these critical questions.
About the Author
Jeffrey K. Olick is professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. Introduction
Part I. The Victors
Chapter 2. Defining Defeat
Chapter 3. Culture and Character
Chapter 4. Woe to the Vanquished?
Chapter 5. Indictment
Chapter 6. Nurembergs of the Common Man?
Part II. The Vanquished
Chapter 7. Other Germanies?
Chapter 8. The Meanings of German History
Chapter 9. The Psychology of Guilt
Chapter 10. The New Political Theology
Chapter 11. The Politics of the Past?
Chapter 12. The Philosophy of Guilt
Chapter 13. The Recalcitrance of Shame
Chapter 14. Conclusion
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History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Modern Germany